Women of the Royal Airforce named Women of Achievement in celebration of their centenary year at glittering award ceremony

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12th October 2018

Sally Preston, founder and Managing Director of Kiddylicious, also named Business Woman of the Year.

A group of women from the Royal Airforce have been jointly awarded at the annual Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards ceremony held in Birmingham today, in honour of their centenary year.

Accepting the Women of Achievement Award 2018 on behalf of the women of the Royal Airforce was Air Vice Marshall Tamara Jennings.

Prior to the award being presented, 2017 Business Woman of the Year winner Fleur Sexton gave a speech in which she spoke of her achievements over the past twelve months since winning the award.

The women take over from the current holders who were also a collective of women from across the Emergency Services, who received the award in recognition of their leadership and dedication in the face of the terrorist atrocities in Manchester and London and the terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower.

Former winners of the Woman of Courage or Achievement Award include Martine Wright, who overcame the horrific loss of both of her legs in the 7/7 terrorist bombings of 2005 to rebuild her life and compete at the London 2012 Paralympics, and Katie Piper, whose personal story My Beautiful Face inspired millions.

Also recognised at the awards was Sally Preston, founder and Managing Director of Kiddylicious, a global and award-winning brand, creating snacks and meals for children. The brand is sold in every major UK supermarket and in over 27 countries worldwide.

In addition to the Women of the Year and Business Woman of the Year accolades, Fiona Allan, Chief Executive and Artistic Director at the Birmingham Hippodrome, was presented with the Jaguar Show Your Edge Award for defying convention and showing an edge in a transformative way from within her business life. Fiona was also among those shortlisted to receive the Business Woman of the Year Awards.

A final accolade, a Special Recognition Award, was dedicated to the Women of the Suffragette Movement, also on the centenary of the 1918 Suffrage Act. The presence of keynote speaker, Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst added even greater worth to this award.

The 36th annual Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards ceremony, hosted by BBC Midlands Today’s Arti Halai, took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, NEC on 12 October 2018. In excess of 600 guests came together to highlight and celebrate the achievements of their peers from across the UK. Proceeds from this year’s event will be split between the nominated charities, which this year are Revitalise and The Prince’s Trust – Women Supporting Women initiative.

Revitalise CEO Chris Simmonds, who was among those in attendance at the event commented:

“It has been an absolute pleasure to be here today in celebration of the outstanding achievements of so many exceptional women. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to honour the centenary of the Royal Airforce, than by awarding the exemplary women who have displayed such incredible dedication and innovation over the past 100 years.

“The qualities displayed by these remarkable women are very much reflective of those of our founder Joan Brander, who worked tirelessly to ensure that she created a legacy which revolutionised the quality and accessibility of respite care for disabled people and carers.

“I would like to personally thank everyone here today for their continued support of our charity. Your generosity has enabled us to support disabled people and carers to enjoy respite holidays for over three decades, bringing happiness to the lives of our guests from right across the UK, including right here in the Midlands.”

Pauline Edden, Board Director of the Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards commented:

“Never has it been more timely or important to celebrate women’s achievements in business and society. 2018 has been an incredibly successful year for the Woman of the Year Luncheon and Awards and I would like to give thanks to all the wonderful supporters who continually help to make our event successful.”

Earlier this year, The Directors of the Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards were proud to welcome two high profile female achievers and former winners of WOTY, Jenny Campbell who is also a well-known entrepreneur on BBC’s Dragon’s Den and Baroness Helen Newlove to the board.

The Women of the Year Awards honour women’s outstanding individual achievement in all professions. In addition to the Women of the Year Awards, the Business Woman of the Year Award recognises outstanding achievement in the sphere of business and provides positive role models to encourage other women to enter the business arena.

Revitalise is proud to have been a beneficiary of the awards since the event’s foundation.


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